DCE newsletter April 2017

First 12 months of solar generation exceeds estimates

All April 2016 solar panel installations have exceeded performance estimates.

With 12 months of data now available we are pleased to report that the school solar PV installations installed during the 2016 Easter holidays have all generated more electricity than predicted.

The installations, at Bridport Primary School, The Blandford School and Milldown Primary School are slightly different, but the 3 schools combined have generated a total of 5,000 kWh more solar electricity than estimated over the last 12 months.

In practice we have found that the larger secondary schools are using more than 95% of the solar electricity on-site and therefore making the greatest overall financial savings. However the peak electricity demand at primary schools is in the range of 30kW–40kW, so it is very interesting to see that on sunny days the primary schools with 50kW solar panel installations are completely solar powered and carbon-neutral in electricity use.

New Dorset Community Energy website to be launched in June

The Dorset Community Energy directors agreed earlier this year to launch a new dedicated Dorset Community Energy website by June. Emily Bullock has been leading the project, which will include a WordPress website and training to enable directors and any interested members to make future updates in-house.

Following quotations, a website designer Ed Mitchell has been appointed, who will also provide training in WordPress. Ed previously managed the international Transition movement website for 3 years before moving to Dorset and specializes in providing website training to community organisations.

Update on educational activities

Alison Jay, the Dorset County Council Sustainable Schools Project Officer, has prepared an excellent 24- page solar energy resource booklet for primary schools to accompany 2 boxes of solar experiments for free loan to schools.

Alison has worked closely with a small group of Dorset Community Energy volunteers who will deliver and collect the solar energy experiment boxes and demonstrate the equipment to any interested members of staff.

The DCE education volunteers have also been working with Alison to prepare a stand at The Thomas Hardye School Science Day on 27th April. It will include a solar powered model electric train to demonstrate the speed of the train changing at different inclinations of the solar panel which supplies the power.

If any members are interested in helping with future educational activities at primary or secondary school level please contact Pete West using the contact form.

Dorset Community Energy AGM

  • Wed 12th July 7:00pm
  • Wessex Royale Hotel, Dorchester